“I think they call this, um… venting” © Drake
Earlier today, one of my respective writers/colleagues/etc wrote a piece addressing how much he supports Lupe Fiasco as an artist while also discussing the love/hate relationship he has with Lupe on some of his (for lack of a better term) false promises. While he did receive positive feedback as well as other opinions from those he disagreed with, he was slammed for speaking “ill” against the great Lupe.
Even if Lupe is my favorite artist, the emcee I feel is the greatest that I’ve ever seen do it, I’m still not going to be above calling him out on his shit. Anyone who knows me knows that I ride and represent Lupe above everything. I’ve supported him on both albums, been to seen him perform (which was brilliant), helped folks decipher his lyrics, etc. I want him to be as successful and as recognized as he can possibly be, but at the same time, I’m not going to let him skate over broken promises without speaking my mind even though he’s not perfect. Lupe has a habit of talking up things that end up causing anger and resentment among his fans when they are canceled or fail to come into fruition.
Friend Of The People? Canceled, but because it was for a good cause, it was understandable. CRS album or even new CRS material? Didn’t happen. The Coolest video? Was never released. The Justice remix album of The Cool? The Halloween-themed radio show to tell the story of The Cool? Never came into fruition. Lasers? Supposedly finished last June, set for release in December 2009. Was rejected then turned in AGAIN near the end of January 2010 and he’s still unable to receive a release date because the time is not right? Just when will the time be right? In July? Nope, too soon with not a single in sight. August? Nope, T.I. has priority with Atlantic Records. September, maybe? Nope, Kanye West is due to shake up the game once again. Late 4th quarter, perhaps? As crowded as it will be, if Dr. Dre has his way, every release will be overshadowed by the release of his almost mythical album Detox.
Jay Electronica is the exact same way. Act II: Patents Of Nobility was supposed to have dropped how many months ago? Exactly… but because we love these artists, we continue to support them. Briefly, I also want to touch on Lupe and the way he handles leaked records. He did an interview sometime back about how when his debut was leaked weeks before its release date, he was cost the opportunity to go platinum. If B.o.B will not be on track to do platinum numbers for some time with the #1 record in the country and another single right on its heels, what makes him think Food & Liquor would have done platinum numbers off the strength of Kick Push? Also, imagine how Drake feels to have his actual entire album leaked weeks ahead of schedule? Did he bitch & moan? No, he told his fans to enjoy it, knowing that his true fans would support him regardless.
When it comes to leaked records and/or unfinished records, keep the records close to your chest if you don’t want them to be leaked because in this day and age, if they get into the wrong hands, they will eventually hit the internet. Plain and simple. Your fans understand the reasoning behind being upset about it not being “perfected”, but what’s done is done and when they are starved of your music so much, it is hard to see why they will go on to download the leaked records. I’d go as far as to say as I agree with Rhymestyle’s idea to tag the record you send out to be finished with the person’s name you gave it to so that if it leaks, you’ll know exactly where the record came from.
One of the things that I respect SO much about Andre 3000 is he doesn’t build up hope, just to have to snatch it away later. No matter how much folks ask for his return, he hasn’t spoken one word about the solo rap album that he’s working on. He’s gotten no one’s hopes up; he simply goes into the lab and works. When it’s finished, I suspect he’ll speak on it and it’ll eventually be released. Kanye West has maintained the same work ethic when it comes to his HIGHLY anticipated album.
Don’t act like Lupe Fiasco is a saint, is perfect or is beyond reproach. You can be a Lupe Fiasco fan, a Laser or what have you and even still, maintain your integrity. For many of Lupe’s fans, the line in the sand has been drawn. We tire of the false promises and while we enjoy his music, we are not going sit around waiting on our toes for him to officially release something especially if it leaks ahead of time. We’re going to move on to other artists who do find time to show SOME appreciation for their fans. At the end of the day, he’s an artist. He doesn’t owe any of us anything, but unless it’s set in stone, don’t get anyone’s hopes up. You make yourself look bad in the long run. To many fans, critics, etc., your word is your bond. If you can’t call your favorite artist on their shit and maintain some lack of bias, whose REALLY the Fiasco?